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Written by Texas Highways


Traveling with a group of friends devoted to eating and exploring, I arrived in Graham on a sunny June day to attend the annual Food Truck Championship of Texas, which featured some four dozen trucks in heated competition. But it turns out we’d come to enjoy Graham—a town of some 9,000 people about an hour-and-a-half northwest of Fort Worth—for much more than a day of good eating.

haunting1016It’s a warm evening, and I’ve joined a group of about 20 people gathering inside the breezeway of a two-story building a block or so from Seguin’s town square. The structure has seen better days, a lot of them, and we’re here to hear about some of those days. You could also say that we’ve come to hear about some of its worst days.

“Are you ready for the ghosts? I am.” With that, co-owner Erin Wallace Ghedi pushes apart a set of sliding wooden doors and leads us into the Smoking Room, where she begins telling the story of the Magnolia Hotel.


The sun is low and the gate guarded as we arrive at the south shore of Lewisville Lake, some 30 miles north of downtown Dallas. Officially, the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area is closed for the day. But my traveling companion and I are here for one of the guided night hikes. So the volunteer manning the gate checks our names and waves us through.

surgarskullWhen my family moved to Texas from Michigan in the summer of 2014, I was still reeling from the loss of my mother, gone suddenly from my life at age 64, just six months earlier.

50 51 Museum

Today kicks off the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month, a chance to celebrate the many ways Hispanic Americans, who were among the original Texans, have enriched our society. Originally started as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968, America has been observing National Hispanic Heritage Month since 1988. We share a few events and places that will help you celebrate.

High Dive Pengy MikyIt’s fair season, y’all! Cooler weather means that grounds across Texas are setting up their spinning ferris wheels, grooming their livestock and revving up their deep-fryers in anticipation of some Texas sized celebrations.

 2015 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the America

Fall is the time for fans to come to Texas for the 2016 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas just outside of downtown Austin. The Grand Prix returns October 21-23 for its fifth year with three days of racing along a 20-turn, counter­­­­clockwise circuit, a Saturday-night concert featuring Taylor Swift, and a Sunday-night concert featuring The Weeknd. Motorsport fans may also want to check out Lone Star Le Mans, a Texas version of the French endurance race, held September 15-17.


Coinciding with the ruby-throated hummingbirds’ fall migration, Rockport-Fulton’s 28th annual event features birding tours, speakers, vendors, and artists.

DTSite blanco150627 012The Texas Hill Country is full of small towns that motorists can either zoom through in five minutes or choose to explore all day.  Those who slow down to see the sights will be amazed at all there is to discover.  I recently tripped through Blanco (pronounced “Blank-O”) and discovered that this town is anything but blank.


Let’s say you’re among the millions of people who visit Fair Park in Dallas for the State Fair of Texas each year. Maybe you’ve admired the prize livestock and indulged in the over-the-top culinary concoctions (fried Oreos, anyone?). Maybe you’ve taken in a bird’s-eye view of the festivities from the 212-foot-tall Texas Star Ferris wheel, or strolled through the automobile building dreaming of a new ride.

ghahremani TRINITY 600ppi

From my seat on the shaded patio at Woodshed Smokehouse, the view takes in a wall of leafy green trees and rippling water that glimmers in the sun. This restaurant overlooks the Clear Fork of the Trinity River and Fort Worth’s Trinity Trails, about 70 miles of paved and crushed-limestone routes suitable for hikers, bikers, runners, and equestrians. The trails connect many of the city’s parks and attractions, setting the stage for my weekend of outdoor recreation, dining, and relaxation—all without a car.

What does it take to be extraordinary? The Texans in these pages have each made their marks in vastly varied fields—from winemaking and writing to inventing a new way to watch movies—and they share characteristics essential to any true trailblazer: the bravery to try something different and the perseverance to carry their visions through. And for that, we salute this year’s Extraordinary Texans.

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